Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Bonanza Season 5 Episodes
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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by PJudith » Wed May 17, 2017 3:54 pm

Oh once again, another discussion of the tortured Laura arc! I love it. :yes

Yes, Plato, Adam dealt with a lot of heartache and trauma as a child. Ben was grieving. Laura clearly wasn't but she was overwhelmed with guilt for wishing Frank dead. But Adam understood that when a young child loses one parent and the remaining one is emotionally absent, for whatever reason, it's a very sad life for the child.

Peggy was missing her father and deep down probably suspected he wasn't coming back. She felt abandoned. And aside from losing his birth mother, Adam also lost Inger after he started to bond with her as a mother. Then a few years later, Marie arrived on the Ponderosa and treated him like her own child. She too was snatched away from him in an accident. No wonder Adam developed a bond with Peggy!

As for Frank and his finances, well I'm sure he had a foreman to oversee the ranch when he was away. On his last, ill-fated ride home he was very nattily dressed. He didn't seem to be in the cowboy, working rancher mold of the Cartwrights. I got the impression that the ranch belonged to his family and he inherited it (but never did much work on it :no ). I don't think the Daytons were destitute. It was a working ranch and there was probably enough money at the time of Frank's death.

Regarding the $500 that Frank's lady friend wanted to be repaid, well I didn't assume Frank was broke, just temporarily out of cash. I can imagine him on one of "his trips" when he visited her, spending, going out to fancy resturants, gambling and losing money in a high stakes poker game. He wouldn't have a credit card on him, so I'd say he was just strapped for cash. I checked an on-line inflation calculator and $500 then would have the buying power of $13,000 today!!

I think those huge money amounts were for the benefit of a 20th century audience. If the woman said that Frank borrowed fifty bucks, modern viewers would say "Big deal". Why bother to make a trip to get such a small amount?

Someone pointed out to me that we can't know for sure if Frank really owed her that much. Maybe he had already paid her back. It could've been more of a "shake the widow down" scheme. The woman did go looking for Adam. She knew he was rich and she told him she planned to spill the whole story to Laura if her loan wasn't repaid.
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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by patina » Wed May 17, 2017 5:25 pm

PlatoofthePonderosa wrote: The funny thing is that Adam can be superbly romantic when he chooses, but he never is with Laura. He either acts like a respectful friend or treats her like they're a comfortably married couple well past the honeymoon stage. Perhaps it's because as much as he loves her in a protective, caring way, he doesn't truly admire her. Or perhaps, given her history, he wants to be extra gentle and cautious, proving himself to be dependable husband material before attempting to be a romantic lover. Her strange behavior at that first party, throwing herself at him and then panicking, must have alerted him to the fact that there was something wrong.
Or the scriptwriters just created "Ranching Barbie." :laughing

Laura's character isn't consistent from episode to episode. She's definitely not the strong frontier woman Mr. Dortort said he was creating. PR and Kathie Browne had to do the best they could with the scripts they had but there was zero chemistry between them to make a romance believable (a spark is there with Laura and Will). Laura is just another Cartwright "helps the neighbor" project but the project only partially succeeds.
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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by Cartwright fan. » Wed May 17, 2017 10:37 pm

I didn't think the romance was well thought out, or well written. Pernell and Kathie did both did a great job, no doubt about that. The scripts were SERIOUSLY lacking though, and I think that they could've written Laura's character much better than they did. She fluctuated too much with her "beliefs" and her emotions. One second, she's all worried about what she told Frank, and how she felt about Frank, and then the next, she's so happy and all relieved that everything is hunky dory. Nuh, uh; not buying it. :no

However, this episode did get me wondering how it would've worked out with the same scripts, but a different Cartwright? What if Joe had gone over to help her, and had an attraction, or (as improbable as it sounds) how about Hoss? I think it would've been interesting to see a different Cartwright with the infamous Laura.
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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by Smorgana » Thu May 18, 2017 3:35 am

Cartwright fan. wrote: However, this episode did get me wondering how it would've worked out with the same scripts, but a different Cartwright? What if Joe had gone over to help her, and had an attraction, or (as improbable as it sounds) how about Hoss? I think it would've been interesting to see a different Cartwright with the infamous Laura.
That's a really interesting question. I can't picture Joe with her at all. Certainly not young Joe or even older Joe really.

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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by daisy60 » Thu May 18, 2017 6:05 am

Oh, no! Not our Joe and Laura! :duh

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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by RootsAndFins » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:29 pm

I’ve just seen this episode for the first time and I actually didn’t like Laura very much. I felt like she spent the whole episode avoiding telling Peggy about her dad for no real reason. I know she says that she doesn’t want to hurt her with the truth, but to me at least Peggy clearly already knows something is up from pretty much the first scene after her dad dies and it’s already distressing her. Her overprotectiveness of her dad’s chair and dislike of Adam were pretty clear signs to me that she had some understanding that something bad had happened.

Maybe I’ll like Laura better next episode she’s in. *shrug*

I loved Peggy though, she was very cute, and I was actually impressed by how good the little actress for her was.

I particularly liked when she was spinning in her swing. Something about that particular action really endeared me to Peggy as a character. Possibly because I used to spin in swings as a kid as well. (Though they were tire swings that actually were supposed to spin, not like the swing in this episode.)

And of course, Adam and Peggy were very cute together. His “Coffee milk tea party” and bringing over a pony for her and spending so much of the episode talking to Laura about telling her, all very sweet. One little moment that stands out to me reflecting on the episode is when they’re stopping for a break from their ride how Adam holds her despite Peggy saying earlier when he shows up with the pony that she still didn’t like him. I feel like that was a wonderful example of what I liked about this episode.

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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by Adamant » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:45 am

I've commented on this episode in the past but one thing that bothers me is that Peggy is alone at the house when Adam shows up; Peggy tells Adam her mother's not home. And Peggy goes off with Adam, a virtual stranger. I know that it's for plot purposes but I think Laura could have been present and given permission for Peggy to go off with Adam. It bothers me every time I see it. Did they not teach their children "stranger danger" back then?

And another thing that bothers me -- Adam pays off Frank's mistress/fiancée so that Laura won't be given the letter and then he gives it to Laura anyway. So now Adam's out $500 and there is no talk of repayment. I know that amount of money may have been nothing to a Cartwright, but that's quite a bit of money as the person who did the inflation conversion stated. And I'm going to suppose that Frank was going to take Peggy, go and live with his mistress until he could get a divorce and then....what? Take the ranch? Sell the ranch? :shrug Obviously, I'm overthinking the whole thing.
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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by TNTrue » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:19 pm

Adamant wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:45 am
Did they not teach their children "stranger danger" back then?
Not like people do today, no. Kids in that era -- and well into the 1960s -- were a lot more independent and a lot less sheltered than they are today. Although she is young to be home alone even then, however there may have been a servant (much more common back then) or someone working in the ranch yard who was semi-keeping an eye on her. But while it would be unusual to leave a six year old on the ranch with no adult to turn to if something went wrong, it wasn't unusual for children that age to be allowed to play in the yard with no direct supervision. And by 'the yard' I mean anywhere from in sight of the house to down by the creek a half mile away, depending on the family.

I didn't think of Adam as a 'virtual stranger' -- he was a neighbor, who she'd met before with her mom.
Adamant wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:45 am
And I'm going to suppose that Frank was going to take Peggy, go and live with his mistress until he could get a divorce and then....what? Take the ranch? Sell the ranch?
Legally, he could pretty much have done whatever he wanted; when a woman married, everything of hers legally became the husband. There were some social limitations -- the neighbors would have frowned on him divorcing his wife without providing her some sort of financial help -- but even if the ranch had been in her family and she brought in the most money, he was within his legal rights to do whatever he pleased. And, since he meant to leave the neighborhood, those social constraints wouldn't have limited him much, one suspects.

Since he was living it up in town so regularly, he also may have had another job, or at least investments, and that would be one reason he treats the ranch so cavalierly by abandoning it so much; he doesn't need it.

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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by Adamant » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:51 pm

TNTrue wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:19 pm

Not like people do today, no. Kids in that era -- and well into the 1960s -- were a lot more independent and a lot less sheltered than they are today. Although she is young to be home alone even then, however there may have been a servant (much more common back then) or someone working in the ranch yard who was semi-keeping an eye on her. But while it would be unusual to leave a six year old on the ranch with no adult to turn to if something went wrong, it wasn't unusual for children that age to be allowed to play in the yard with no direct supervision. And by 'the yard' I mean anywhere from in sight of the house to down by the creek a half mile away, depending on the family.

That I know -- children had more leeway in playing outside, but we can't assume something not in evidence--that a servant or ranch hand was watching her as we haven't been shown any in the episode. But, since we're speculating, any parent would say, "Don't go far" if they were leaving their 5/6 year old child alone. So I imagine Laura said, "Don't go far unless someone you barely know comes over with a pony and offers it to you. Then you can ride off with him."
TNTrue wrote:I didn't think of Adam as a 'virtual stranger' -- he was a neighbor, who she'd met before with her mom.
Adam was practically a stranger and one she didn't care for. Of course, he knew how to win Peggy over, but he was still a basic stranger. In the uncut episode, Peggy is watching Laura choose a dress for the dance and states her disapproval of her mother going since, in Peggy's world, her mother was married. Even more reason to dislike Adam.
TNTrue wrote: Legally, he could pretty much have done whatever he wanted; when a woman married, everything of hers legally became the husband. There were some social limitations -- the neighbors would have frowned on him divorcing his wife without providing her some sort of financial help -- but even if the ranch had been in her family and she brought in the most money, he was within his legal rights to do whatever he pleased. And, since he meant to leave the neighborhood, those social constraints wouldn't have limited him much, one suspects.

Since he was living it up in town so regularly, he also may have had another job, or at least investments, and that would be one reason he treats the ranch so cavalierly by abandoning it so much; he doesn't need it.
I doubt Frank would care what the neighbors thought about him divorcing his wife and leaving her without support as you stated so social limitations didn't apply to him. And I believe Frank was a gambler -- or I received that impression. We find out in a later episode that the ranch is in horrid condition, obviously a victim of Frank's neglect -- just as Laura is.


Many things wrong with this episode, IMO.
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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by Julianna » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:40 pm

I like the Laura episodes but as others state they aren’t the best written. There are inconsistencies and holes in the plots. I am not going to rehash what has been stated very skillfully . A few things to point out however. They spent a lot of time and effort to promote Adam getting a bride. I was 8 at the time and the tv magazines and TV Guide etc carried articles and pictures publicizing it. Then it was on TV ads as well. Then the powers to be changed their minds. It was such a shock. I wanted Adam to get married and be happy. They built this up over the year and then the big letdown. Kathie Browne has the original script on Darrin McGavin’s webpage for The Pressure Game and there’s the wedding and the newlyweds driving off. I read it. I find it so odd.

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